Uncredited artwork tonight from 70sSciFi art
Today was a special pi day y’all, as I’m sure you’re fully aware if you’ve been in the twits or the books or the grammies at all. I mean, we have a pi day every year for Coops sakes…but this year was a once-in-a-hundred-years kind of pi day. 3.14.15 – the first 5 digits of pi. AND, if you wanted to get super duper awesome about it, at 9:26 and 53 seconds in the morning, those were the first TEN DIGITS of pi.
I was musing in the shower, as I often do (for reals, I’ve thought of, like, four or five legit story ideas in the shower) about pi, and pie. The stupid joke in my head that kicked that association off was “pi, now there’s a nice round number”…and then I thought about how pies are round…and then that made me think that can’t be by any of sort of coincidence, or even something ancient in any sort of etymology or mystic sort of way. Nope, that’s straight up humor right there. Someone looked at this pastry they’d just concocted, saw it was round, and then had a laugh and called that shit pie. Their educated friends heard the name, and they chuckled, getting the joke, and “pie” was born. From someone’s sense of humor.
Maybe it’s because the Ho and I just watched Aziz Ansari’s Netflix stand-up special, but I was thinking a lot about humor and history as I sat down to write my entry tonight. It’s weird to think that old people, even ancient people, thousands of years up to just a hundred years ago…all those people interacted with each other using humor ALL THE TIME. And, I mean that in that I never *really* thought about it or gave “historical humor” any credit, but I’d bet those people were fucking hilarious. Sure, topical stuff never translates, but I mean the fundamentals of humor haven’t really changed in all of history, and there are remnants of even the oldest cultures that those fuckers were actually hilarious in very “sophisticated” ways. Like, *genuinely* funny.
When I stop and think about, that shouldn’t really be all that much of a surprise. Laughing is one of the most pleasurable things to do as a human. Second, I’d say, only to sexual satisfaction. That means the evolved desire to laugh, and the social evolution to produce laughter, have been with us FOREVER. So, that shit evolved and insinuated itself into human day-to-day interaction from the very beginning. It shouldn’t be a surprise at all that comedy and jokes and pranks and satire…all that stuff has really been with us since the dawn of “time.”
I’m just saying it’s weird to think that anyone from an age in the past was ever actually a truly funny dude or gal. That’s just weird. We think of jokes as getting old almost immediately after they’ve been told. How could someone from the 1800s have been *actually* funny? Sure, funny in a “literary” way, or “history professors laugh at weird shit” kind of way…but I mean funny still right now funny.
I was listening to a podcast about the writing of Don Quixote, and how it was super successful when it came out in part because it was written in this not-often-used style of the “mockumentary” I guess you could call it. The narrator was relaying “stories” that he’d heard, like this was a history book or something, and the narrator would often interject into the story…like “and then Quixote did THIS! But…you know, the person who told me that happened was a drunk and a liar, so I do have to say at this point it probably didn’t actually happen that way.” Or, even funnier, when a climactic moment is building to a frenzy, “and Quixote was cornered! What was he going to do? How would he escape? No…really, how? Nobody knows. The manuscript I found of the writing of this tale was torn from that point on, so I can’t tell you.” I mean, Cervantes is a fucking badass. That’s hilarious. What a fun way to interact with your reader. You don’t even hear of people doing that shit today that often. Like, I’m saying that’s something that would work TODAY as a fun story device.
Anyway…my day: I woke up a bit late, as expected given how late I went to bed. And…I cleaned the house. Did the launry. Helped a couple people with some maintenance issues. Went grocery shopping. It all took a bit longer than I’d anticipated, and suddenly it was time for walking the pups and then dinner, and some time to hang with the Ho and finish watching The Temple of Doom, which, let’s all be honest and hold hands together…is not a very good movie. The good news? That franchise ends with The Last Crusade, which is fucking awesome.
That’s all for tonight nights. See y’all tomorrow and happy pi day!